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Smart consumer tips and strategies from Eyewitness News Online

Trading Travel

What if you were told that you might not have to pay a penny for your next trip? And, no, you don't have to enter a contest. If you put your skills to use, you could come out a winner!

Tour Leader

One way to go on vacation for free is to be a tour leader. Either get a group of your friends to go along or put your skills to use. "I once led a whole ski trip, because I've been skiing since I was 8. So, that was one example of trading my talent for travel," says Matthew Link from Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel Magazine.

Tour companies are looking for all types of talent, from someone who can lead an academic tour to a coach who can guide an athletic team.

Free Sailing

If you prefer to go solo, your way will be paid if you become a guest speaker or instructor on a cruise ship. If you can give a valuable lecture, you're all set. What are the ships looking for?

>>Someone to teach the culture or history of the destinations.
>>Language Experts
>>Dance Instructors
>>Motivational Speakers

Interested? You can contact the entertainment department of the cruise line and tell them about your skill. Matthew Link says in addition to your resume, be prepared to mail in a tape. "They'll usually want to see some sort of videotape of you giving a similar presentation to know that you can pull it off."


If you prefer some R & R at a spa, you can also put your skills to use. Spas are looking for speakers who can teach skills like yoga, massage, or cooking. "I know one spa in Mexico, where if you give one or 2 classes, you can actually stay at the spa for a whole week for free," says Link.


If you simply want to get from one place to another, contact an auto transport company and if you qualify, they'll give you a car to drive to another city.

You can check out these companies by surfing the Web or flipping through the yellow pages.

Smart Idea!Bright Idea...

The Sky's the Limit

If these options don't work for you, you can still get a deal on your airfare. Here are some tips on how to lower the cost of traveling from here to there:

>>Airlines change their domestic fares as often as three times a day. To get the best rate, call or check their Web sites often. Then give your travel agent a ring. Travel agents can usually find special promotions when online travel sites can't.

>>Be flexible with your departure and return dates. Traveling Monday through Thursday is usually cheaper than flying on the weekend. For holiday travel, airlines often offer savings if you fly on the holiday itself.

>>Late night or "red eye" flights are usually cheaper than flying during the morning or afternoon.

>>Think about traveling through an alternate airport. Flying through a less popular airport may save you hundreds of dollars. For example, if you're planning a trip to the Big Apple, consider flying to and from Newark instead of J.F.K.

Read more smart consumer tips and strategies
from Fox11 Eyewitness News Online


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